In 2013, UNICEF and partners plan for:
children under 5 suffering from malnutrition receive care
newborns and 30,000 pregnant women receive essential and basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care
children and young people in and out of school provided with mine risk education
2013 requirements (US$)
Eritrea’s location in one of the driest parts of Africa contributes to the vulnerability of its children and women. The nutrition sentinel site surveillance conducted in July 2012 revealed an increase in acute malnutrition in the majority of the country’s regions compared to 2011. Malnutrition combined with pneumonia and/or diarrhoea is the number one cause of child mortality. Pneumonia and diarrhoea cause 20 per cent and 12 per cent of deaths respectively in children aged 1 to 5 years.1 While most of the country suffers from arid or semi-arid conditions, there is a short and intense rainy season in certain areas that heighten the risk of exposure to landmines displaced into new, unmarked areas, resulting in injuries and the subsequent destruction of livelihoods. More than 650,000 people live in areas impacted by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs). Only 25 per cent of mine fields have been cleared, and 70 per cent of the casualties reported are children, primarily boys. Injuries from road accidents, which contributed to the death of around 40,000 children over the age of 52 in 2011, and are among the top five leading causes of child death. An estimated 121,000 school-aged children are presently out of school;3 they are primarily from disadvantaged groups with nomadic lifestyles and are highly vulnerable to recurrent drought. Within rural communities, 39 per cent of people are without access to safe drinking water4, and the practice of open defecation continues to be a challenge, contributing to diarrhoeal diseases and hampering progress in reducing mortality rates of children under 5.
Planned results for 2013
2013 Programme Targets
- 12,000 and 60,000 children under 5 suffering from severe and moderate acute malnutrition respectively receive therapeutic and/or supplementary feeding.
- 370,000 children under 5 receive vitamin A supplementation and blanket feeding.
- 100,000 children under 1 year vaccinated against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
- 350,000 children under 5 receive Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses, including treatment for pneumonia and diarrhoea.
- 70,000 newborns and 30,000 pregnant women receive essential and basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care.
- Approximately 10,000 people with increased access to environmentally sustainable and improved drinking water sources, and three elementary schools in rural areas with increased access to safe WASH facilities.
- Approximately 20,000 people access basic sanitation facilities and practise safe hygiene.
- 300,000 children and young people in and out of school provided with an integrated mine risk education programme on injury prevention in high-risk communities.
- 7,500 nomadic children given equitable access to quality education in a safe and protective environment
- 5,000 over-aged, out-of-school children from the most vulnerable communities given access to quality education through an alternative accelerated form of non-formal education.
A new cooperation agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Eritrea will begin in 2013. The Strategic Partnership Cooperation Framework (2013–2016) that outlines the United Nation system’s support to the Government includes UNICEF’s support in areas of health; nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; basic education and child protection. UNICEF’s interventions aim to provide therapeutic, supplementary and blanket feeding to prevent further deterioration in the nutritional status of children under 5 and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in six regions. UNICEF will also promote mine risk education in affected communities and will work closely with the Ministry of Education to reach nomadic children and support the expansion of complementary elementary education to reach out-of-school children aged 9–14, mainly in the remote areas of the country. UNICEF will also pre-position emergency education supplies and support the Government in responding to emergency issues related to education. The basic education component will be included in the 2013–2016 country programme. The period of May–September marks the peak of the dry season, during which the level of water sources drops significantly and the populations of the two coastal regions (Northern Red Sea and Southern Red Sea) suffer from a shortage of water. To address the low access to water in these communities, as well as low sanitation coverage that increases the risk of disease outbreaks, UNICEF and partners will support the implementation of potable water sources in rural communities, coastal regions included, will promote safe hygiene practices and will help at least 20 villages to become open-defecation-free.
Results from 2012
UNICEF appealed for US$10,200,000 for 2012, and as of 31 October, a total of US$3,890,181 or 38 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. The funds were used to meet immediate nutrition and health needs and to undertake water and sanitation interventions. Twelve additional community-based therapeutic feeding centres (CBTFs) were established in remote areas, for a total of 212 CBTFs, while 57 facility-based therapeutic feeding centres and 263 supplementary feeding centres were supported. UNICEF and partners were therefore able to reach more children than initially targeted for 2012. Coverage for routine immunization is 79.1 per cent and for measles, 76 per cent. The ongoing measles outbreak is under control as a result of a measles campaign that identified unvaccinated children and increased coverage to more than 95 per cent. Coverage of community Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses reached 80 per cent in Anseba and Debub regions, and 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in North Red Sea and Gash Barka. Although resource constraints limited investment in mine risk education, funding through UNICEF’s regular resources and thematic funds enabled partners to reach conflict-affected communities with integrated messages and train teachers in first aid, resulting in fewer deaths occurring during the transfer of victims to health facilities. UNICEF supported the construction of 12 improved water supply projects, providing rural communities with clean drinking water. There was no progress, however, in the provision of water and sanitation to schools, given a lack of funding. UNICEF’s education programme component was suspended in 2012, upon the Government’s request.
* Results as of September 2012. ** Results as of October 2012.
***Full results will be available at the end of the year upon receipt of data from partners.
****Data not available due to insufficient funding.
UNICEF funding requirements for 2013
UNICEF is requesting US$12,200,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Eritrea in 2013. Without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the country’s response to its critical nutrition situation, provide health interventions, basic education and WASH services to children in the most hard-to-reach areas or protect Eritrea’s children from the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW).
1 Health Management Information System, 2011.
2 Health Management Information System, 2011
3 Education Management Information System, 2010/2011.
4 Water Supply Coverage and Functionality status survey and analysis, 2011, Water Resources Department, Eritrea